Friday, March 18, 2016

Is There a Parallel to the Upcoming AIPAC/Trump Ruckus?

In a 2009 meeting with the  Foreign Affairs Committee of the Israeli Knesset, former President Jimmy Carter was reminded of an event 30 years previously:

...Mr. Begin said on your first visit to the Israeli Knesset on March 12 1979, "We have a beautiful democracy," and you will be witness to democracy today. This is the meaning of Knesset, the meaning of parliament, and we have many views around this table. I think that most of the people here, maybe most Israelis were, to say the least, frustrated with some of your remarks about the Palestinian issue but respect your vision, commitment and love for the state of Israel, and this is why we felt we have to listen to you and also to share our feelings and thoughts with you today. You are the first former American President visiting this committee and we look forward to a fruitful discussion.

As this newspaper report makes clear, indeed there was a ruckus going on:

Here is another account:

In Carter's speech he said pointedly: "The people of the two nations are ready now for peace. The leaders have not yet proven that we are also ready for peace enough to take a chance." Begin's speech was interrupted repeatedly by members of the right and the Communist party, and MK Geula Cohen was removed from the chamber.  Carter believed that Begin took pleasure in showing him the strength of Israeli democracy.

So I suggest to the AIPAC heads that when the ruckus breaks out, just quote Menachem Begin.

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